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Far off was their murmur, it came not more nigh,
Loud murmur'd the priests, and amaz'd was the King, While many dark spells of their witchcraft they sing; They search'd Albert's body, and, lo! on his breast Was the sign of the Cross, by his father impress'd.
The priests they erase it with care and with pain,
High bristled his hair, his heart flutter'd and beat, And he turn'd him five steps, half resolved to retreat But his heart it was harden'd, his purpose was gone, When he thought of the Maiden of fair Lebanon.
Scarce pass'd he the archway, the threshold scarce trode,
When the winds from the four points of heaven were abroad,
They made each steel portal to rattle and ring,
Full sore rock'd the cavern whene'er he drew nigh,
Unmeasur'd in height, undistinguish'd in form,
In his hand a broad falchion blue-glimmered through smoke,
And Mount Lebanon shook as the monarch he spoke; "With this brand shalt thou conquer, thus long, and
Till thou bend to the Cross, and the Virgin adore."
The cloud-shrouded Arm gives the weapon; and see! The recreant receives the charm'd gift on his knee: The thunders growl distant, and faint gleam the fires, As, borne on the whirlwind, the phantom retires.
Count Albert has arm'd him the Paynim among, Though his heart it was false, yet his arm it was strong; And the Red-cross wax'd faint and the Crescent came
From the day he commanded on Mount Lebanon.
From Lebanon's forests to Galilee's wave,
The sands of Samaar drank the blood of the brave; Till the Knights of the Temple, and Knights of Saint John,
With Salem's King Baldwin, against him came on.
The war-cymbals clatter'd, the trumpets replied,
Against the charm'd blade which Count Albert did wield,
The fence had been vain of the King's Red-cross shield; But a Page thrust him forward the monarch before, And cleft the proud turban the renegade wore.
So fell was the dint, that Count Albert stoop'd low Before the cross'd shield, to his steel saddlebow; And scarce had he bent to the Red-cross his head,"Bonne grace, Notre Dame !" he unwittingly said.
Sore sigh'd the charm'd sword, for its virtue was o'er, It sprung from his grasp, and was never seen more; But true men have said, that the lightning's red wing Did waft back the brand to the dread Fire-King.
He clench'd his set teeth, and his gauntleted hand;
Short time had Count Albert in horror to stare On those death-swimming eyeballs, and blood-clotted hair;
For down came the Templars, like Cedron in flood,
The Saracens, Curdmans, and Ishmaelites yield
The battle is over on Bethsaida's plain.—
The Lady was buried in Salem's bless'd bound,
Yet many a minstrel, in harping, can tell,
FREDERICK AND ALICE.
This tale is imitated, rather than translated, from a fragment introduced in Goethe's "Claudina Von Villa Bella," where it is sung by a member of a gang of banditti, to engage the attention of the family, while his companions break into the castle. It owes any little merit it may possess to my friend MR. LEWIS, to whom it was sent in an extremely rude state; and who, after some material improvements, published it in his "Tales of Wonder."
FREDERICK leaves the land of France,
On the scene of former pleasure.
Joying in his prancing steed,
Keen to prove his untried blade,
Helpless, ruin'd, left forlorn,
Mark her breast's convulsive throbs!
See, the tear of anguish flows!— Mingling soon with bursting sobs,
Loud the laugh of frenzy rose.
Wild she cursed, and wild she pray'd; Seven long days and nights are o'er; Death in pity brought his aid,
As the village bell struck four.
Far from her, and far from France,
Heard ye not the boding sound,
As the tongue of yonder tower, Slowly, to the hills around,
Told the fourth, the fated hour?
Starts the steed, and snuffs the air,
Struck with strange mysterious fears.
Desperate, as his terrors rise,
In the steed the spur he hides; From himself in vain he flies;
Anxious, restless, on he rides.